New Jersey Winning Race to Legalize Internet Gambling

Like California and D.C., New Jersey wants to regulate Internet gambling before the federal government does it first.

And if this is a race, Jersey is winning.

“Like a similar measure calling for a referendum to allow sports betting in the state, which will now go before voters, part of the idea of the bill is to be ready and even up and running when federal restrictions are lifted,” points out the Atlantic City Weekly Blog.

Last week, the proposal by Democratic Senator Raymond Lesniak, which includes legalized, in-state Internet gambling among a suite of other regulations concerning the horse racing industry, came up for vote in the state assembly.

While parts of Lesniak’s proposal passed, unanimously, the proposal allowing online gambling was delayed, or “referred to the Assembly Budget Committee because it contains a tax provision. It goes before the full Assembly on Jan. 6,” per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

But given the overwhelming approval of the other casino-related bills, look for this Internet gambling provision to pass — probably quite easily — in early January.

If it does, it’ll have at least one significant change from before — international bettors are not allowed to gamble via the proposed new online casino system.

Given that change, the bill no longer seems to pose much of a threat to the greater U.S. online gambling regulatory drive (and international casino affiliate marketing), since Jersey’s bill would likely affect only New Jersey.

Still, if these changes are approved by the Senate, and signed by the governor, they become law — and may then be modified more easily since it’s already on the books. So online casino industry’s eyes will continue to be on the Garden State as a trailblazer for U.S. regulations.